Sailing Into the Sunset of the Spirit –
July 13, 2018 – He was calling from his home in Stuart, Florida, the sailfish capital of the world. This Atlantic Coast city once had a house used as a haven for shipwrecked sailors called The House of Refuge. It might not be an accident that Richie Lapinski Jr. lives in Stuart. Lapinski is fighting a summer cold, but still wants to talk. I have to tell my story. Almost everyone has heard someone’s version of it: a tight-knit family, involved in sports. Mom and dad sacrifice, the kids thrive. Then comes the injury. Then comes the painkillers. Then for some, the downfall comes. Not everyone makes it to the redemption part. The restoration part. This is Lapinski’s story. He grew up with his brother, sister and parents in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was deputy chief of the Jersey City Fire Department, and coached football and baseball. His mother was a stay-at-home mom and ran the youth cheerleading squad.